- pedestal 1560s, "base supporting a column, statue, etc.," from M.Fr. piédestal (1540s), from It. piedistallo "base of a pillar," from pie "foot" + di "of" + stallo "stall, place, seat," from a Germanic source (see STALL (Cf. stall) (n.1). Spelling in English influenced by L. pedem "foot." Figurative sense of put (someone) on a pedestal "regard as highly admirable" is attested from 1859. An Old English word for it was fotstan, lit. "foot-stone."
Etymology dictionary. 2014.